HAVING watched Country File on Sunday and seen all the cute pigs tucking into their food and rolling in the mud, and then coming into the saleroom to see our delights for the next auction, my selection for this week’s lot was a no brainer: two Wemyss pigs.

I have sold many Wemyss pigs over the years but not always the larger models like these two, on which there is an estimate of £200-£300 each.

Wemyss pottery goes back to 1882 when Robert Heron, the owner of Fife Pottery, Kirkcaldy, decided to name his wares “Wemyss” in recognition of the long-standing patronage and support of the Wemyss family of Wemyss Castle on the east coast of Scotland.

The pottery did produce other animal models – we have more than 20 pieces of Wemyss in the sale on Tuesday – the pig has been its trademark since 1882, when Robert Heron brought Karel Nekola from Bohemia to head his decorating team. The pig is a symbol of good luck in Bohemia and it is thought that Karel persuaded the pottery to produce the model in various sizes.

The Queen Mother was a great collector of Wemyssware and the fact Thomas Goode of London, a very upmarket retailer (even to this day!) had exclusive rights to sell Wemyss will have contributed to its appeal.

Karel Nekola died in 1915 and the pottery closed in 1930 in the depression.

Today Wemyssware enjoys a resurgence, especially since Griselda Hill acquired the trademark in 1994 and now produces Wemyss-inspired pieces from her pottery in Fife.

Peter Robinson, Thomas Watson Auctioneers, Darlington. Sale starts 10am on Tuesday; viewing over the weekend by appointment via thomaswatson.com for details.